Gang Of Female Bandits Preying On Men

Austin, Texas is witnessing an unusual crime spree -- a gang of women targeting men.

It's been happening on the city's famous Sixth Street, known for its Bourbon Street-like bars, restaurants, music and crowds.

Cops are calling the thieves the "Sixth Street Bandits."

Investigators say the women steal from men they meet in our outside bars -- possibly by using drugs to incapacitate their victims, getting their PIN numbers and using their credit cards.

"We have six victims who have come forward" so far, Austin Detective Brenda Bauzon told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith Wednesday. " ... (The gang consists of) three-to-four African-American females. The cards were used a lot up in northeast Austin, so we feel they may be from that area, but that has not been confirmed, it's only suspected.

"Some of the victims are reporting it's possible there was excessive alcohol consumption, but others are reporting that, no, they were only at a moderate level of drinking, so they're convinced drugs were used although on our part, that has not been confirmed.

"These women know the guys are down there (on Sixth Street) drinking. The way I suppose they're getting their PIN code -- it looks like they're shoulder-skimming them at the ATM machines located right there on the sidewalks on the street. And once they obtain their PIN codes, all they have to do is just follow them into a bar and convince them to take some more drinks or slip something in their drink -- we don't know. But then they disappear from the downtown area."

Smith also spoke with a man who says he was a victim. For his protection, The Early Show had him in a shadow and only identified him by his first name, Galen.

He told Smith the incident "absolutely" was "a wakeup call because, as a male, I didn't always think I'll be a victim of these kinds of drugs. You more associate them with date rape. But it's just a lesson learned for everyone."

Galen recalled that, "My best friend, Joey, was in town visiting me. We wanted to go down to Sixth Street. ... At one bar, we were just mingling with different people. We weren't together the whole time. And I believe that my drink was drugged at that point, because my next memory, which is very hazy, was me in a van with three African-American women.

"And after that, I have no memory until I was being walked around a hotel and a woman had her arm around me and she said, 'Stay here, I'll be right back.' And at that point it just kind of came together for me that I was being dropped off at some hotel. And I walked around into the parking lot and no one was there.

"At this point, it's 5:30 in the morning. I know who I am. So I hitchhike all the way back to my apartment, about three miles. And I'm going into my building and, because it was such an obscure hour, I needed my building ID, so I get my wallet out and I realize it's been completely rifled through. And so that was really my heads-up.

So, I ran up to my apartment and went onto my online banking and (realized) my debit card's been completely wiped clean."
MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.